Welcome to “Cheat Sheet,” ROBOT 6′s guide to the week ahead. After an almost-uninterrupted string of U.S. conventions, from Emerald City Comicon and Fabletown & Beyond to WonderCon and MoCCA Arts Fest, eyes turn to Europe this weekend for the Torino Comics festival.
Meanwhile, our contributors select their picks for the best comics going on sale Wednesday, including Batman: Li’l Gotham #1, Relish and The Flash Chronicles, Vol. 4.
This weekend, it’s the Torino Comics festival
There are plenty of reasons to visit Torino (Turin), Italy — the food, the art galleries, the architecture, a certain shroud — but I can’t imagine a better one this weekend than the Torino Comics festival. It has more of a pop-culture element than you might imagine of a European comics convention — Star Wars actors, games, etc. — but the creator guest list is mighty impressive: Lee Bermejo, C.B. Cebulski, Eddie Campbell, Richard Burchielli, Giuseppe Camuncoli and Stefano Caselli, just to to name a half-dozen.
ROBOT 6 contributors name their top choices from among the comic books, and comics-related books, scheduled to arrive in stores this week. We welcome readers to highlight their picks in the comments below.
The Flash Chronicles, Vol. 4
It’s a grim coincidence that The Flash Chronicles Vol. 4 comes out barely a week after Carmine Infantino’s death, but if you’re new (somehow) to his work, there aren’t much better places to start. This collection includes much of what made the Silver Age Flash memorable, like the Rogues’ Gallery, the Elongated Man, and the seminal “Flash of Two Worlds.” — Tom Bondurant
I love robots. Victor Mancha was my favorite Runaway after Gert Yorkes (comics rest her soul), so the idea that someone at Marvel remembered his amazing connection to the MU’s most dangerous robot and enough people approved an entire issue dedicated to his character grows my heart three sizes. While his friends are being challenged and hunted on Murderworld, Victor is going to face his own personal hell in a world controlled by his now omnipresent and powerful “father.” I await Ultron #1AU with glee. (Wait, anyone else a little put off by the Age of Ultron‘s abbreviation also coinciding with “alternate universe”? Hrm …) — Carla Hoffman
Batman: L’il Gotham #1
I wish that DC had a more robust line of superhero comics that are appropriate for children. I wish it didn’t feel like Superman Family Adventures was being canceled because it somehow can’t co-exist with Li’l Gotham. Whatever the problem is, whether it’s the market or DC’s editors or something else I can’t see, I want it fixed. But in the meantime, I’m grateful that the current DC all-ages title is as lovely looking and engaging as this one by Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs, who are clearly having a blast with it and are passing that joy along to readers. — Michael May
Relish: My Life in the Kitchen
Face front, foodies! Lucy Knisley takes a tour of her life and the significance of food, cooking and culinary appreciation that runs through her family. Each chapter ends with a recipe of a dish featured in the previous story, creating a fun interactive level to the graphic novel. This graphic novel serves as a nice follow-up/prequel to her travelogue comic French Milk. A wonderfully expressive cartoonist, her work embodies the joy of food she has had all her life, communicating it with such ease that even someone like myself, who still has the eating habits of a fourth grader, can appreciate and enjoy. — Corey Blake
Princeless, Vol. 2 #1
Princeless launches its second story arc this week with Princeless Vol. 2 #1, and even if you missed the first one, there’s enough recap that you can jump right in with this issue. The whole series is a sendup of fairy-tale and comics tropes: A sexist king locks his daughters up in towers, guarded by dragons, and only the knight who can slay the dragon can wed the fair lady. The rebellious Princess Adrienne has teamed up with her dragon and fled the tower, making friends with a blacksmith, Bedelia, along the way. The second volume will follow her attempts to rescue her sisters, with six goofy knights hired by her father in hot pursuit. The mix of knowing humor and slapstick makes this a book that’s fun for adults and kids alike. — Brigid Alverson
Uncanny Avengers #6
Writer Rick Remender garnered attention in the last issue with Havok’s m-word speech — and not all of it was good attention. I trust Remender as a writer, and the payoff to this series is in the details, so I am going to trust that there is a larger payoff to that speech in future issues. Considering this late-February CBR interview, Remender makes it clear that he has carefully considered the time travel story that kicks into high gear in Issue 6 (“I’ve got a giant map on my wall that’s connected in almost A Beautiful Mind style way and documents how the time travel works. You won’t understand everything that’s going on until around Issue 17, when a big reveal drops.”) I will be the first to admit, time-travel stories, even when done well, require extra effort on the part of the reader. But again, I trust Remender. As for Issue 6, I’m really pumped to see artist Daniel Acuña’s visual approach to the Uncanny Avengers after seeing this preview. — Tim O’Shea